No more wildcards. With MLB Playoffs starting, Picked Last picks ’em forreal this time:
Why you should love them: They’ve got a lot of really fun personalities who are also really really really good at baseball. From Miguel Cabrera’s historically elite past two seasons, where he basically replicated his 2012 Triple Crown numbers, to the once-a-vegan Prince Fielder who rumbles across the basepaths and reminds one of an elite Jon Kruk’s “Lady, I ain’t an athlete, I’m a baseball player”, to the dominating Max Scherzer coupled with Verlander being Verlander, to a host of others like Victor Martinez etc etc etc. They lost their starting shortstop to PED suspension and didn’t even skip a beat. This team is stacked, loaded, and ready to go deep. Also, can anyone really root against the city of Detroit? Or Torii Hunter making it to his first World Series?
Why you should love them: Billy Beane is a survivor, isn’t he? After a few years in purgatory as the rest of the Majors caught up to his embrace of sabermetrics, the A’s GM has bounced back and actually won 3 more games than the talent-rich Tigers this year in a much tougher division (AL West vs. AL Central). For the second year, they passed the Rangers in the last weeks of September to grab hold of the AL West. They’ve got 40 years young Bartolo Colon taking the mound to open the series. The A’s, despite having the 4th lowest payroll in the Big Leagues, are in this thing. They don’t have many gang-busters, but they play as a team. With no All-Stars this year, they continue to compete with little resources. Also, I like the A’s because as the Philadelphia A’s, they brought 5 World Series titles to Philly during Connie Mack’s 50 year reign over the Philadelphia sports landscape.